International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with the support of the Vocational Training and Education for Clean Energy (VOCTEC) Program from Arizona State University, the Pacific Technical and Vocational Education and Training (PacTVET) Program led by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community Secretariat (SPC) and the University of the South Pacific (USP), and the Department of Energy of the Solomon Islands are hosting a Mini-Hydro training workshop for Mini-Hydro technicians from 4 to 13 November 2015 at Bulelevata Village in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands.
The training is funded from the Special Initiatives Programme of the IUCN Pacific Small Islands Development States (SIDS) Environment, Ecosystems and Sustainable Livelihoods Initiative (EESLI) project entitled, “Managing the Ecosystem Implications of Energy Policies in the Pacific”. The EESLI is funded by grants from the Governments of Italy, Austria, Luxembourg, and Spain. A portion of these grants is paid into a fund called the Special Initiatives Fund, used for demonstration projects, capacity building, policy development, and sustainability studies in support of sustainable energy developments in the Pacific.
A total of 30 participants are involved in the training. IUCN is funding the participation of 20 community and government representatives from the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) countries of Fiji, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, and Vanuatu, while through the PacTVET project, SPC is funding the participation of 10 participants from technical and training institutes in Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, and Vanuatu.
Bulelavata boasts a functional Micro-Hydro system that has provided electricity for the people since its construction in 1998. IUCN Oceania Regional Office had in 2013 produced a mini-hydro framework for MSG Countries, and this training opportunity serves as an additional commitment to help the nations throughout the region achieve renewable energy goals. There is abundant potential for such energy systems in all the participating countries. Some communities like Bulelevata have been assisted by international aid organisations to install their community hydro schemes. Eighty percent of the people in the Solomon Islands reside in the rural areas and as of 2009 only 3% of this rural population have access to reliable electricity.
This training serves as part of IUCN and its partners’ efforts to improve on that figure by providing necessary skills to facilitate upcoming installations and provide the operational and maintenance support necessary to ensure reliable power to a growing population.
For more information, contact Anare Matakiviti, Energy Programme Coordinator at [email protected]